I thought writing my #Womened pledge may be a difficult thing to do given that I am going to be off on mat leave in 5 weeks time.
However, turns out it isn’t that tricky at all.
Maternity leave for me is definitely about spending time with family. I will absolutely make the most of the time I have with our new baby, and my daughter, and the rest of our fabulous family. It is a time to take advantage of the things you can’t do in ‘normal’ life - stay in PJs all day, go to baby classes and drink endless tea, make new friends, convince yourself that baby sign language is a necessity – then realise it isn’t, and gradually emerge out of the haze and return to real life.
I also think that it is an opportunity – to learn, to develop, to try new things.The last time I went on mat leave – which was also the first time I went on mat leave, I had a list of things I wanted to do.
I love a list.
The notes section on my phone is full of lists – shopping lists, to-do lists, lists of what to buy people for Christmas presents, lists of places I want us to visit, lists to remind me of future gigs and theatre shows that are coming on, lists of things to write about and lists of things I want to do – for me. This list is the most important list and it is something I have maintained post mat leave.
It was whilst I was last on mat leave that I started to blog, as a Mum with a family in the North West – my blogs are about places to go, things to do – valuable things every new parent needs to know – like the top 5 places in Manchester centre which are buggy friendly and also sell beer. Essential.
I got a running buggy and went out a lot with Rita running – this was great for my physical and mental health. I got a sewing machine, intending to make Rita clothes for summer – that never happened. I saw more of family and friends I don’t usually see as often as I would like. I read more.
I also got together with two friends and we set up www.ourkids.social which provides unique family events across the North West in venues, festivals and even at parties. What started out as a Sunday afternoon in a social club in South Manchester has grown and with it, I have grown too.
Yes, we have made mistakes along the way, but we have all learned new skills, taken on bigger challenges and made a success of something we started from nothing. Developing my skill set - developing me, was such an important part of my mat leave.
And so – my #Womened pledge for this academic year. I am going to make the most of the time I have off. Make the most of the time I have with family and friends. Make the most of all the Frasier repeats Channel 4 has on each morning, and make the most of the time I have for myself.
I am hoping to do some collaboration whilst I am off with some of the wonderful people I have met through #Womened – blogging with @keziah , Youtubing with @kiran working with @maternityCPD ,and maybe even some business growth with @dauntlessdaughters
I am also determined to master that sewing machine gathering dust in my loft – will keep you posted.